Goal #1 was to finish—did that. Goal #2 was to beat my time from 2003—did that, too. Goal #3 was to finish under 2:30:00—and I blew that out of the water! I did way better than I ever thought I could do. I ran the entire 13.1 miles... I thought for sure I'd have to walk some of it. I couldn't believe I had that in me!
It was raining/snowing sideways throughout the entire run. The cold rain/snow didn't bother me—that was actually kind of nice—it kept me nice and cool. The wind was pretty strong in places, though, and that was difficult to push against.
I was nervous in the beginning that my knees might not last. Between mile 1 and mile 2 my left knee started to get a twinge of pain, and I instantly recognized it as the "peg-leg" syndrome. I kept running while concentrating on my stride, quick footstrike, and rolling my feet heel to toe. It held up pretty well, and since I stretched it so much before I started running, I was hoping it would hold up. It didn't seem to get any worse after that. I did stop and stretch my IT band a few times on the route, as I promised myself. And I'm walking today with no stiff knees, so I'm glad I did that.
Adam came along and hopped up ahead of me on the route to take pictures and cheer me on. I gave him a map of the route along with a pace chart for a 2:30:00 finish time. When I'd see him, he'd point to his watch, then look up at me with a big smile and a thumbs-up. It was really cool. He was letting me know that I was whooping my pace time! I hit the 10K mark at about 55 minues, which meant I had plenty of time to walk if I needed to and still make my goal time. I walked through a water stop, drank my water, and realized that the walking wasn't making me feel any better, so I kept running.
Things started to stiffen up pretty bad around mile 10. My thighs were getting really tight and sore, and my knees weren't wanting to bend (but they weren't all that "sore"). I just pushed on. I new at this time, that I was actually close to finishing around 2 hours, so I tried to run just a little faster, but had to go back down to my steady pace that I'd kept up to that point. I talked to myself a little bit through the last 2 miles to keep it up... "we're almost done, Robin!"
So what was my official time? My Gun time was 2:02:32!!! I almost made it under 2 hours... but that didn't phase me. It would've been super cool to do that, but I was nowhere NEAR disappointment when I came across that finish line. I accomplished all 3 goals I set out to do. I was nearly in tears with excitement, relief, pride... all the feelings I crave when I pursue an adventure like this.
Mission accomplished! I'm so happy with how it all turned out. :)
Oh, boy... what next!?
Additional statistics from my run:
Gun time: 2:02:32
Chip time (chip strapped to my ankle marking when I cross the start and finish lines): 2:01:52
Average pace: 9:21
Overall place: 582 out of 1091
Athena Division (runners over 150 lbs): I placed 4th out of 34! Crazy!! :)
Women's division in my age range: 32 out of 81